Prelates Give Joint Response to Provision for Anglicans

Canterbury and Westminster Archbishops Reflect on Vatican Decision

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 20, 2009 ( Today’s announcement that the Vatican is facilitating the entry of Anglicans into the Catholic Church ends a «period of uncertainty» for those who have long expressed their wish for «embracing unity,» according to a joint statement from the leader of the Anglican Communion and the archbishop of Westminster.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams held a press conference today in London, parallel to the announcement in Rome of Benedict XVI’s apostolic constitution that will set up «personal ordinariates» for groups of Anglicans seeking communion with the Church.

The constitution will respond to «a number of requests,» a statement from the archbishops said — requests that have come from groups of Anglicans «who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and are willing to declare that they share a common Catholic faith and accept the Petrine ministry as willed by Christ for his Church.»

«The announcement of this apostolic constitution brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church,» the statement adds. «It will now be up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the apostolic constitution.»

Archbishops Nichols and Williams affirm that the constitution is «recognition of the substantial overlap in faith, doctrine and spirituality between the Catholic Church and the Anglican tradition.»

And, they said, this would not have been possible without the 40 years of ecumenical dialogue that the Anglican Communion and the Church have shared.

The archbishops promised «continuing cooperation» and said, «With God’s grace and prayer we are determined that our on-going mutual commitment and consultation on these and other matters should continue to be strengthened.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text of joint statement:

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